Thursday 3rd August 2017

THEY say that where there’s life, there’s Hope.

And Les Hope is beginning his mission to extend Dumbarton’s life in the Championship over the next nine months.

Les inherited the boardroom chair during the close season, succeeding Alan Jardine, who had been at the helm since 2008.

But as a former director and associate director he is no stranger to the highs and lows that Sons can experience.

Saturday’s game against Morton will be his first league match as chairman, and like everybody else, he is looking forward to the challenges ahead.

The Cardross man told “To be chairman is a tremendous privilege for me.

“Alan has done a fantastic job leading the club to where it is today, and it is absolutely my aim to carry on that progress.

“I have previously been on the board with Partick Thistle, and had some great times there with some great people and fantastic matches and promotions to look back on.

“However, Dumbarton is my local team, and one I feel honoured to be seeing starting its sixth season in Scotland’s second tier.

“We have done some great things at this level – no two of the previous five seasons have been the same. There is bound to be something new about this season as well.

“Everybody is aware of how tough it will be, but in Stevie Aitken we have the right man to manage the team going forward.

“It is very much a new-look squad, as it always is at this time of the year, but we trust Stevie’s judgement in how it will all come together.

“Let’s hope that on the evening of Saturday, April 28, we are looking forward to our seventh season at this level. We are confident and we are ready for the challenge.”

And there is one other group of people Les is putting faith in ahead of the Championship action getting underway tomorrow.

He added: “I want the fans to be completely aware of just how important they have been to us during our stay in the Championship, and will be again this season.

“Without them, we would not have been anticipating a sixth year at this level.

“We have had some excellent players over the past five years, some of the best the club has had this century, if not beyond. Ultimately it is them and the management who go out and win games.

“But that would be a lot harder if, on matchdays, they did not have the crowd on their side.

“In any line of work, your task is a lot easier when you know you have people supporting you through all times.

“So to all the supporters who have backed us in recent times – keep coming along and doing what you do best. You really do make a difference.

“And why not bring a friend or relative to a game? Somebody who maybe hasn’t been introduced to football or who follows our fortunes without being able to make it along?

“Or if you are somebody who follows us from afar – come down and see for yourself what happens here on a matchday.

“You will be made very welcome and who knows, you may witness the team take a step towards clinching a seventh season at this level.

“A part-time team which has achieved a sixth campaign in a largely full-time division deserves to be supported.”

Andy Galloway

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